|Federal election major party leaders|
|< 1977 1980 1983 >|
Federal elections were held in Australia on 18 October 1980. All 125 seats in the House of Representatives, and 34 of the 64 seats in the Senate, were up for election. The incumbent Liberal Party of Australia led by Malcolm Fraser with coalition partner the National Country Party led by Doug Anthony defeated the opposition Australian Labor Party led by Bill Hayden.
|Australian Labor Party||3,749,565||45.15||+5.50||51||+13|
|Liberal Party of Australia||3,108,512||37.43||-0.66||54||-13|
|National Country Party||745,037||8.97||-1.04||20||+1|
|Australian Labor Party||49.60||+4.20||51||+13|
|Party||Votes||%||Swing||Seats Won||Seats Held|
|Australian Labor Party||3,250,187||42.25||+5.49||15||27|
|Liberal/National (Joint Ticket)||1,971,528||25.63||-8.63||4|
|Liberal Party of Australia||1,011,289||13.15||+2.55||9||28|
|National Country Party||341,978||4.45||+3.95||1||3|
|Country Liberal Party||19,129||0.25||+0.04||1||1|
Independent: Brian Harradine
The Fraser Government had lost a degree of popularity within the electorate by 1980. The economy had been performing poorly since the 1973 oil shock; unemployment and inflation remained high; and Fraser was seen by many people as being cold and aloof. Although, Labor Opposition Leader, Bill Hayden, was not seen as having great electoral prospects. Perhaps as evidence of this, then ACTU President Bob Hawke (elected to Parliament in the election as the Member for Wills) & then Premier of New South Wales Neville Wran featured heavily in the campaign, almost as heavily as Hayden. The Coalition retained a House of Representatives majority of 23 seats, down from the previous election’s 48-seat majority.
In the subsequent term, the government delivered budgets significantly in deficit, and Fraser was challenged for the Liberal leadership by Andrew Peacock. The Australian Democrats made further gains, winning the balance of power in the Senate. From July 1981 (when those senators elected at the 1980 election took up their positions) no Federal Government in Australia had a Senate majority until the Howard Government won such a majority in 2004.